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Hillsborough’s Hammond ready for his chance to shine
Posted Oct 12, 2012 by Bill Ward
Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM
If a college scout came to a football practice at Hillsborough High, one of the first players they would probably ask about is Bryan Hammond. That’s because of his athletic, chiseled frame. At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Hammond already looks like a college player.
Thing is, this is Hammond’s first year of varsity football. He came out for the team as a sophomore and when he wound up at the not-so-glamorous position of offensive lineman for the Terriers, he decided to leave the squad and concentrate on basketball.
‘‘At first, basketball was my first love but now that I know football better and I’m getting to be where I need to be at, football is my other love,’’ Hammond said. ‘’‘'If I could go back, I would’ve played football my sophomore year and stayed with it. But now I just have to work harder and do the best I can.’‘
Hammond returned to the Terriers’ football squad last spring and had been working his way into more and more action this fall. But with the season-ending injury to their star defensive end, Jordan Sherit, Hammond has been thrust into that position as the starter. He sees the situation as an opportunity to put himself on the radar of college coaches and says he has learned a lot as Sherit’s understudy at defensive end. Hammond has also seen action at tight end, just like Sherit.
‘‘I’ve been watching him (Sherit) at practice, learning his steps and moves and he’s taught me a lot,’’ Hammond said. ‘‘I’ve got a ways to go but I’ll keep working at it to get better.’‘
Hammond and his teammates know the implications of tonight’s district game against host Sickles. Hillsborough is 5-0 over all and 3-0 in Class 6A-District 8. Sickles is 3-2 and 1-1 in the district, but has already played and lost to Armwood, the district favorite and defending 6A state champ. Hillsborough still has district games to play against the Hawks and King. Sickles’ remaining district games after tonight are with Jefferson, Strawberry Crest and Leto.
Terriers senior linebacker/running back/punter Nigel Harris says no one on the team can completely replace Sherit, but he says Hammond is an exceptional athlete who has loads of potential.
‘‘Honestly, if he had started playing his sophomore year, he (Hammond) would probably be one of the top D-I prospects in the area,’’ Harris said. ‘‘But now it’s his chance to show what he’s got.’’
Besides athletic ability, Hammond also has strong grades in the classroom. He says he is taking several advance placement classes. Between his size, ability and grades, Hammond is hoping to catch the attention of some college coaches. As of now, he has no official scholarship offers.
‘‘I’ve been given an opportunity to show what I can do,’’ Hammond said. ‘‘I’ll do my best with it.’’